Hello Pack. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I love Christmas and spend months preparing for it, but come 2 p.m. on Christmas day I have my tree down and the mess cleaned up and am glad it is all over. My Bobby loved the DIY manual pottery kick wheel that I commissioned some tribe members to make him for Christmas – a definite prepper holiday gift.
I was not sure if he would want the pottery wheel painted or stained, so tricking it out will be a project this weekend now that Bobby has received his gift. I also bought two durable yet soft door mats to nail onto the wood bench seat to make it more comfortable.
One of our tribe members wants to adapt it even further, but wanted Bobby’s approval before doing. He devised a plan to use a tire and mechanism from a 10 speed bicycle and the pedals to make an alternate manual power source to the kick wheel for ease of use on large projects and extended work sessions.
It would function basically like a pedal on an old-fashioned manual sewing machine (which we have two of for clothes making and repair preps).
Bobby thought the idea sounded incredibly cool, so his DIY pottery wheel Christmas gift remains a work in progress. He snagged one of the empty tool boxes we like to pick up at yard sales for organized small prep storage, and put all of the pottery tools I also got him inside.
We did not get the kiln built before Christmas, but have the plans and supplies to make it this weekend. We are going to once again raid Bobby’s “junque” piles and use one of the old kitchen stoves from our former rental properties to make the propane powered forge.
It will actually be a multi-fuel source design because the bottom drawer of the stove will be adapted to turn the kiln into a wood fire one as needed.
It is now time to pull out our annual piece of posterboard with diagrams of survival retreat improvements on one side and notes – list on the other to gauge wheat we have accomplished or altered over the course of the year … and get out a fresh piece of posterboard and start all over again.
I do not look forward to the annual grading and survival retreat planning session as much as I do Christmas, but I sure do love doing it. It is exciting to see how far we have come, lament a bit over what projects did not get completed or turned out as successfully as planned, give high-fives over clever ideas we came up with over the course of the year, and plan for future improvements.
I am pretty sure I have mentioned the online auction I discovered a few months back in previous columns, but I wanted to touch base on it again because of all the incredible preps and general money savers I am finding on there. I think I am currently bidding on 75 or so items.
Because I have purchased hundreds of items on the online auction already, I cannot recall the exact price I paid for everything without looking it up on my digital auction receipts, but I can give pretty accurate ballpark figures for everything – I just love bargain preps and gifts!
All of the items are new, but some are graded as “open box.” Those are likely returns that may be “scratch and dent” or not work. Those are a buyer beware kind of situation and go the cheapest.
But, if you are handy, maybe you could score an electric automatic chicken plucker for less than $10 that goes from non-functional to functional in less than an hour of work.
All of the auction items I am going to detail below were graded “appears new” or “brand new.” If you inspect the items and plug them in, etc. before leaving the local auction pickup spot – which in our case is a building at the fairgrounds, you get a refund or can barter a discounted price, if the item does not measure up to the listed expectations.
- Coleman sleeping bag – $.75
- Baofeng UVR5 Radio – $.30
- Baofeng UVR5 Radio – $3.65
- BlackFin Radio 2 Pack – $9.75
- BlackFin Radio Solar Charger – $5.00
- 3-Person Tent – $9.65
- Pop Up Canopy – $3.45
- 7-Gallon Cast Iron Cauldron with lid, stand, and lifter – $83.00
- Inflatable Camping Pillow – $.45
- Enamel Baking Pan – Large 2 Pack – $.55
- 3-inch gel foam mattress topper queen – $1.75
- Left Handed Recurve Bow – $5.55
- Compound Box Pistol – $9.00
- Snow Shoes and Bag – $8.95
- Little Boy’s Shoes with tags – 5 at $.10 each
- Little Girl’s Shoes with tags – 9 at $.25
- New Little Boy’s Pants – 8 at $.35 each
- Women’s Winter Coat – $6.95
- Men’s Thermal Knee Socks – 9 pairs with tags $.55
- 2 Large Plastic Totes – $2.35 each
- Galvanized Metal 6 Section Nesting Box Set – $5.75
- Electric Chicken Waterer Heater – $3.45
- Bolt of Canvas Fabric – $3.55
- Queen Size Quilt – $6.55
- Sheet Sets in Queen, Full, and Twin – $2.35 to $7.25
- Queen and Full Comforter Sets – $5.95 – $10
- Pillows 2 to 4 piece sets – $.55 to $3.25
- Medium Molle Pack – $5.95
- Gross of Mylar Emergency Blankets – $12.55
Here is a short list of equally cheap new condition items that I did not bid on because we did not need them but are also great preps:
- Various hitches and receiver
- Car parts
- Vehicle tires
- Chainsaws – new and “open box” grade
- Pole Saws
- Small manual tool sets
- Pressure Cooker
- Turkey Fryer
I also purchased multiple new in box Melissa and Doug and Kidkraft dollhouses, play kitchens, pretend play grocery stores, and Lego sets for roughly 75 percent off of the list price.
This particular online auction is only serving a few states, but I am sure there are others like it since bulk pallet buying and reselling in such the rage at the moment.
This Week’s Questions:
- What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
- What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
- Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?
- What did you do to prep this week?